Tell us about yourself
My name is Toritseju Okoturo. Fun fact: most people think I have a Japanese name, but I am actually a Nigerian from Delta State. I currently work on the Commercial Partnerships team as an Acquiring and Gateway Partnerships Manager. Outside of work, I love to volunteer and binge-watch period dramas. I recently started a position as Director of Volunteer Management at a not-for-profit called Project Impacting Lives. The organization seeks to address the day-to-day needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged people with the aim of improving their lives. Recently, we partnered with Home First to provide care packages (gloves, blankets and toiletries) to 1500 underhoused individuals in Toronto.
What does a typical day look like at Interac for you?
My role involves working closely with Interac partners to build strategic roadmaps and respond to their enquiries and continue to build relationships with our ecosystem partners. I like to think of myself as a middle person, ensuring both parties enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship. When I’m not managing these relationships, I’m learning something new on Interac’s learning platform or watching educative videos online.
What is your favourite part of your job?
It’s hard to select just one favourite aspect of my job. However, at the top of my list would have to be engaging with my colleagues and learning more about the products and services at Interac. It’s exciting to see how we are creating solutions that help Canadians and individuals like me that reside in this beautiful country. I also love the fact that as a Partnerships Manager, I’m part of the work that makes both my company and our partners successful – when we succeed at Interac, it benefits the partners I work with too!
What comes to mind when you think about your journey at Interac?
Growth, freedom and inclusivity. It honestly still feels like a dream. Since joining Interac, my journey has been one of many learnings and opportunities. The environment at Interac allows you the freedom to be you and provides opportunities to ask questions without any judgement. My time here has been great because of the amazing people at Interac who embrace the culture of respect, candor, collaboration and genuineness.
Describe your journey as a Black professional in Toronto navigating the FinTech space.
Overall, my journey has been positive. However, when I moved to Canada, it was difficult to integrate, especially immigrating from another country with no Canadian work experience. I decided to stay focused and took courses at the University of Toronto to transition into the Canadian environment and build on my skills. I feel blessed that Interac took a chance on me. This is my first foray in Canada as well as in FinTech and I’m loving every second of it.
What makes Interac a unique place to work?
Interac is a dynamic place to work. It’s an organization that understands the essence of work-life balance. This is evident in Interac’s people programs which foster work-life balance, health and continuous development. It’s a Canadian organization in every sense and one that reflects all the Canadian values that immigrants like me love.
What advice would you give to Black youth looking to start their career?
I strongly believe your career starts the minute you begin work for an organization regardless of the type of job it is, whether it be a volunteer position, internship, contract, part-time or full-time role. Whatever it is you decide to do, I think it’s important to put your heart and mind to it. In other words, be passionate about what you do and why you do it. Stay focused to achieve your business objectives, be open to learning and surround yourself with the right network. Remember that the person you meet today may be your employer or reference tomorrow.
What does inclusion mean to you?
Inclusion in the workplace means being understood, accepted and not marginalized. It means equal experiences and opportunities and being a part of the conversation regardless of the differences that exist between us, whether that be gender, religion or race.
Interac is committed to supporting small businesses across Canada. Is there a Black-owned business in Canada you are proud to support and would like to share?
Suya City Express is a nice restaurant in Mississauga that offers authentic Nigerian food. There’s something for everyone. I recommend the Smokey Jollof Rice, a spicy rice dish with a tomato base and a smoky flavor. It is usually paired with a protein of your choice, plantain and coleslaw. For dessert, you can’t go wrong with Puff-Puff, a sweet soft deep-fried dough.